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The Impact of Recreational Drugs on Oral Health

Recreational drug use can have severe consequences on an individual’s overall health, including oral health. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of commonly used recreational drugs on oral health, shedding light on the potential risks and problems they can cause.

Methamphetamine (Meth)

Methamphetamine use is notorious for causing severe dental issues, commonly referred to as “meth mouth.” The drug’s acidic nature, combined with dry mouth, teeth grinding (bruxism), and poor oral hygiene, contributes to rapid tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.


Cocaine use can lead to various oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and tissue damage. The drug’s vasoconstrictive properties reduce blood flow to the gums, increasing the risk of gum tissue damage and tooth loss. Additionally, dry mouth, teeth grinding, and cravings for sugary substances are common among cocaine users.


Frequent cannabis use can result in dry mouth, known as xerostomia. The reduction in saliva flow increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as saliva helps neutralise acids and wash away food particles. Furthermore, the smoke from cannabis contains harmful chemicals that can contribute to oral cancer and other oral health issues.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy use often leads to teeth grinding and jaw clenching, causing enamel erosion, jaw pain, and an increased risk of gum disease. Dry mouth is another common side effect, further exacerbating the likelihood of dental problems.


Heroin users frequently experience poor oral hygiene practices, leading to severe dental problems. Neglecting regular dental care, including brushing, flossing, and check-ups, can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Additionally, heroin can cause dry mouth and intensify cravings for sugary foods and beverages, compounding oral health issues.

Recreational drug use poses significant risks to oral health, contributing to a range of problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and tissue damage. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, seeking professional help for substance abuse, and regular dental check-ups are crucial steps in mitigating these risks. It is essential to raise awareness about the impact of recreational drugs on oral health and encourage individuals to make informed choices for their well-being.

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